Saturday, November 15, 2008
President-elect Obama makes another play for college football playoff
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- It's not exactly at the top of his agenda, but President-elect Barack Obama says there should be a college football playoff to determine a national champion. In fact, he knows exactly what he wants -- an eight-team playoff.
In an interview with "60 Minutes," Obama addresses a subject college football fans have debated for many years, and says he will use his influence to create such a system.
"If you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there's no clear decisive winner. We should be creating a playoff system," he tells CBS' Steve Kroft in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.
According to Obama's proposed system, eight teams would play over three rounds to settle the national champion.
"It would add three extra weeks to the season," he said at the conclusion of a wide-ranging interview. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."
This is not the first time Obama made a play for an eight-game college football playoff.
During the Monday Night Football broadcast the night before the Nov. 4 election, Obama said, "I think it's about time we had playoffs in college football. I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams -- the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion."
One person who hasn't been swayed recently by Obama is Oregon president David Frohnmayer, chair of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.
"We deeply respect the president-elect and we are glad that he is a fan of college football," Frohnmayer said in an e-mail response to ESPN Tuesday. "We have the most compelling regular season in all of sports, and I'm sure that contributes to Senator Obama's enjoyment of our great game."
Frohnmayer opposes a playoff for the former Division I-A. Other presidents on the committee are Rev. John Jenkins (Notre Dame), Robert Khayat (Ole Miss), Mark Nordenberg (Pittsburgh), John Peters (Northern Illinois), Harvey Perlman (Nebraska), Graham Spanier (Penn State) and Charles Steger (Virginia Tech.)
"My colleagues and I on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee have discussed the future of postseason football on many occasions and we do not believe a playoff would be in the best interest of the sport, the student-athletes or our many other constituencies," Frohnmayer said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.